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AG Nessel Calls on AG Barr to Reverse New Policy That 'Will Erode the Public's Confidence in the Election'

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 22 other attorneys general across the country today to call on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to reverse his abrupt change to a 40-year-old U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) policy that until this week had kept the department from interfering with election results.

In their letter to Barr, Nessel and her colleagues voiced their “strong objection” to this policy reversal, which they said “will erode the public’s confidence in the election,” and called on him to “reverse your decision promptly.”

The American people have voted in record numbers in a safe and secure election and have clearly chosen a new president. Despite this, Attorney General Barr issued a new directive on Nov. 9 that U.S. attorneys may now pursue allegations of voter fraud without adhering to long-established, important guardrails. Until now, the DOJ has recognized that the principal responsibility for overseeing elections lies with states and has “taken care to avoid affecting the outcome of elections or even the perception of political intrusion in the electoral process,” the coalition wrote.

“It is the states’ principal responsibility for overseeing the election process and my office is committed to bringing perpetrators of fraud to justice,” Nessel said. “As I’ve stated previously, there has not been an unusual number of credible allegations of voting misconduct. It’s clear that this new policy only serves to undermine confidence in the electoral process while legitimizing the president’s unsupported claims that he won his reelection.”

Nessel issued a statement in response to Barr’s abrupt policy change earlier this week, saying the change is about lending legitimacy to the president’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

Joining Attorney General Nessel in signing the letter are Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Minnesota Attorney General Ellison, who co-led the letter, and the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,  Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.